Seward (Anchorage), Alaska, US

At the head of Resurrection Bay, the small but important port town of Seward is the terminus for the Alaska Railway, and the start of the Seward Highway, both of which connect the port with the city of anchorage. By far the largest city in Alaska, Anchorage is spectacularly set on a peninsula between Knik Arm and Turnagain Arm at the head of the Cook Inlet. The city, which is home to fully 40 percent of the state’s population, is set against a backdrop of the snowcapped Chugach ranges. It is one of the only municipalities in Alaska that was never a mining or fishing town. Its origin was as a base for the construction of the Alaska Railroad. Although Juneau is the state capital, Anchorage is actually home to over twice as many state employees. Its Ted Stevens International Airport, just six miles from downtown, is strategically located within nine and a half hours’ flying time from virtually 90 percent of the industrialized world, making it an important fueling and cargo hub for the airline and freight-forwarding industries. The most visible industry in Anchorage is petroleum extraction, with a number of prominent regional headquarters dominating the city’s skyline. It is also seasonally the staging area for the Alaska cruise industry and its auxiliary land-based tourism and hospitality businesses catering to visitors exploring the interior attractions of Alaska and Canada such as Denali National Park and the Klondike region by motor coach and rail.